Humanitarian Award

The Rochester Black Men Achieve Humanitarian Award recognizes individuals or groups who unselfishly devote their life to the welfare of humanity and whose works and deeds have served to improve the quality of life for others and contributes to the betterment of our world.

The 2017 Awardees for Roc BMA Humanitarian Award:

 

Sebastian Maroundit & Mathon Noi


Born in the rural village of Mayen-Abun in Twic State, South Sudan, cousins Sebastian Maroundit and Mathon Noi were less than ten years old when war came to their village and separated them from their families. They escaped to Ethiopia only to experience war again within 4 years. In 1991, they escaped from Ethiopia and spent a year walking across the hot desert to a refugee camp in Kenya. In this camp, both were educated through the 8th grade.

In 2001, Sebastian and Mathon were selected as two of the 3,800 who would resettle in the United States. Mathon recently graduated from Niagara University majoring in Accounting, while Sebastian is pursuing his Business Degree.

In the summer of 2007, they both returned to their village. Though Sebastian lost his father during the war and Mathon lost his mother, they were reunited with their surviving parents after 18 years apart. They were dismayed to find their village in poor condition, with no roads or clean water. The children of the village were being taught under a large tree, because the school had been destroyed.

Since that visit, they have been passionately committed to helping rebuild hope in their village by building a school to provide a basic education for the children.

Sebastian Maroundit and Mathon Noi are recognized for their outstanding humanitarian efforts.

To date BMISS has completed the following:

  • Constructed Ajong Primary School, a co-ed primary school complex in Mayen-Abun village consisting of eight classrooms, a teachers and storage building, and three sets of latrines. About 850 students currently attend in double sessions.  Classrooms provide adult education and community gathering rooms after hours.
  • Constructed six classrooms of Majok Keen Girls Primary School complex.  About 400 girls currently attend.
  • Initiated a “Pads for Girls” project where local women make reusable sanitary napkins with treadle sewing machines and materials provided by BMISS.
  • Provided hand operated bicycles and wheelchairs for disabled students.
  • Funded a female principal for the girls primary school.
  • Funded teacher training.
  • Provided students with solar lamps for study and backpacks.
  • Funded five village women to start their own businesses.
  • Initiated women’s garden project and provided foot-powered water pumps.
Sebastion Maroundit & Mathon Noi

Born in the rural village of Mayen-Abun in Twic State, South Sudan, cousins Sebastian Maroundit and Mathon Noi were less than ten years old when war came to their village and separated them from their families. They escaped to Ethiopia only to experience war again within 4 years. In 1991, they escaped from Ethiopia and spent a year walking across the hot desert to a refugee camp in Kenya. In this camp, both were educated through the 8th grade. In 2001, Sebastian and Mathon were selected as two of the 3,800 who would resettle in the United States. Mathon recently graduated from Niagara University majoring in Accounting, while Sebastian is pursuing his Business Degree. In the summer of 2007, they both returned to their village. Though Sebastian lost his father during the war and Mathon lost his mother, they were reunited with their surviving parents after 18 years apart. They were dismayed to find their village in poor condition, with no roads or clean water. The children of the village were being taught under a large tree, because the school had been destroyed. Since that visit, they have been passionately committed to helping rebuild hope in their village by building a school to provide a basic education for the children. Building Minds in South Sudan, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities for villagers in the Republic of South Sudan. Sebastian Maroundit, President and Co-founder and Mathon Noi, Vice President and Co-founder of Building Minds in South Sudan (BMISS). The organization seeks to: • Build primary schools, first in the village of Mayen-Abun in South Sudan, and then beyond • Provide gender equality through promoting education for girls • Advance students’ ability to realize their full human potential and development • Provide villages with a central hub (the school) which will restore the sense of community • Improve the quality of education through teacher training, working with cooperation of the Twic State Government.